Improve Your English: 298 [Archives:2006/1006/Education]

December 11 2006

Dr. Ramakanta Sahu
I. What to Say

Situations and Expressions (93)

Wishes for a sister (iv)

A brother is not only a source of joy for a sister but an unfailing pillar of strength, comfort and pride for him as well. She looks upon him as a friend, a philosopher and a guide in the turbulent course of life's sordid realities

– I may not be the best brother in the world, but I'm sure, that I'm the luckiest. I feel blessed to have a sister like you.

– We've a special closeness that's grown deeper through the heart, a bond that links us strongly through laughter, smiles and tears; we share a deep love and we support each other, too, and it means still more with every year, to have a sister like you.

II. How to Say It Correctly

Correct errors, if any, in the following sentences

1. Before going into the mosque, everyone has to take off his shoes.

2. When I tried on my three white shirts, I found that not any of them fitted me any more.

3. None of the furniture have arrived yet.

4. Unfortunately, few of our houseplants died while we were away on holiday.

5. It cost fewer than twenty dollars.

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. She has to do a lot of traveling in her job.

2. Everything seemed to go wrong.

3. The whole of Sana'a was affected by the power cut.

4. Both (of) their children had chicken pox at the same time.

('both' is used after a determiner such as 'their', 'his', the', etc)

5. Each bus owned by the company is washed once a week.

III. Increase Your Word Power

(A) How to express it in one word

1. Based on error and misleading information.

2. Liable to errors.

3. Land ploughed but not sown or planted.

4. Move, walk, or act in an uncertain or hesitating manner.

5. Make well acquainted with.

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. Short tale with animals in it and intended to give moral teaching: fable (n)

2. Front or face of a building towards a street: facade (n)

3. One of the many sides of a cut stone or a jewel: facet (n)

4. Exact copy or reproduction of writing, printing, a picture, etc: facsimile

5. Story, work or art, etc that looks genuine but is not: fake(n)

(B) Words often confused

Bring out the difference in meaning of the following pairs of words

1. eminent, imminent, immanent

2. egoism, egotism

3. trip, tour

4. arrant, errant

5. iniquitous, ubiquitous

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. acquisition (n) (acquiring): Child language acquisition is a complex, yet fascinating process.

requisition (n) (act of demanding): The Defence Ministry has submitted a requisition for military supplies.

inquisition (n) (thorough search or investigation): The Intelligence officials carried out an inquisition into the assets accumulated by the accused.

2. prescribe (vt) (advise or order the use of): The doctor prescribed bed rest for the patient.

proscribe (vt) (denounce a person, practice, etc. as dangerous): Some books written by Taslima Nasreen have been proscribed in Bangladesh.

3. collar (n) (part of a garment that fits round the neck): He has a fashionable collar stud.

color (n): Dreams lend color to life.

4. conceive (vt) (form an idea, plan, etc. in the mind): I can't conceive in my wildest dream how you can stoop so low.

perceive (vt) (become aware of): I don't perceive any difference between my students and my children.

5. compress (vt) (get into a smaller space, condense): The writer has efficiently compressed his ideas within the span of this short essay.

depress (vt) (make sad, low in spirits): I am depressed to notice the progressive deterioration in my father's health.

repress (vt) (keep or put down or under): The government repressed the rebellion with a stern hand.

(C) Synonyms and Antonyms

(i) Synonyms

Choose the word that is closest in meaning to the one given at the top

1. compunction

a. guilt

b. pricking of conscience

c. remorse

d. regret tinged with pity

2. concur

a. to run together b. to meet in one point

c. to coincide d. to act together

3. confound

a. to overthrow b. to confuse

c. to throw into disorder d. to defeat in argument

4. conglomerate

a. bunched b. mass

c. jumble d. collection

5. consecrate

a. to render holy b. venerable

c. hallowed d. devoted

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

Word Synonym

1. circumlocution evasive talk

2. circumspect cautious

3. clandestine private

4. coalesce unite into one body

5. cognition knowing in the widest sense

(ii) Antonyms

Choose the word that is most opposite in meaning to the one given at the top

1. ephemeral

a. temporal b. everlasting

c. polite d. temporary

2. fickle

a. steadfast b. independent

c. permanent d. silly

3. firmament

a. earth b. hell

c. sky d. heaven

4. fetish

a. object of love b. object of hate

c. object of harm d. object of dispute

5. fructify

a. enrich b. fruitful

c. upgrade d. sterilize

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

Word Antonym

1. effeminate virile

2. epilogue prologue

3. extolled condemned

4. esoteric none of these

5. endemic epidemic

(D ) Spelling

Choose the correctly spelt word

1. a. mirchant b. merchent

c. merchant d. marchent

2. a. nausea b. noser

c. nousea d. nausia

3. a. ocured b. occured

c. occurred d. ocurred

4. a. omited b. ommited

c. ommitted d. omitted

5. a. ocasion b. occesion

c. occasion d. occagen

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. liberty

2. library

3. maintenance

4. magnificent

5. mathematics

(E ) Phrases and Idioms

Use the following phrases in sentences

1. tempt fate

2. leave (someone) in the lurch

3. stay the pace

4. you can say that again

5. fall foul of (someone/something)

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. in hot water (in trouble): You will be in hot water unless you take your job seriously.

2. belle of the ball (the most attractive girl present in the gathering): Although there was a large gathering of girls in the auditorium, she was decidedly the belle of the ball.

3. in seventh heaven (extremely happy or pleased): Rizq was in seventh heaven when he became the best graduate of the university.

4. a different kettle of fish (something completely different): I have lived in several foreign countries, but living and working in Yemen is a different kettle of fish.

5. change horses in midstream (to change one's decisions, plans, etc. in the middle of a project): It sounded absurd when the manager abruptly decided to change horses in midstream and give a different slant to the project.

IV. Grammar and Composition

Fill in the blanks with a suitable verb

1. The air crash investigators are into the cause of the accident.

2. It's a lovely sofa, but it would up to much space in the sitting room.

3. While I was looking for my suitcase in the room, I across a box full of lovely old books.

4. If you've forgotten his phone number, why don't you it up in the phone book?

5. When her husband went abroad she down and cried.

Suggested answers to the previous issue's questions

1. Running a big car like that can't be at all cheap.

It must be very expensive running a big car like that.

2. Ahmed Azzan started teaching six years ago.

Ahmed Azzan has already taught for six years.

3. What do you find most interesting about the film?

What interests you most about the film?

4. 'What's happened to your knee?' Khalid's mother asked him.

Khalid's mother asked him what had happened to his knee.

5. I was amazed by the things he said.

I thought what amazing things he said!


Expand the central idea contained in the maxim


Suggested answers to the previous lesson's questions


If a bird arrives before other birds he has the privilege of catching the worm because he has no rival to compete with him or to snatch the worm from him. Similarly, a person who gets up or begins his efforts for an enterprise quite early is more likely to be successful in the venture. In an age of keen competition, one who finishes first will naturally be the winner. The one who is first to arrive at the finishing point will get the best award. On the other hand, the one who lags behind has to be content with the least that is available under the circumstances. As the 18th century poet Dryden says “None but the brave, none but the brave, none but the brave deserves the fair.” In the struggle for existence, the fittest only survives. Therefore, we should unleash our best efforts to reach the goal ahead of everybody else. We should be the leader, the forerunner, the harbinger, the pioneer if we wish to get the best of the bargain. The essence of the maxim is to be prompt, active, aware and act without wasting the precious time, because opportunity once lost may not come again.

V. Pearls From The Holy Quran

“All that hath been promised unto you will come to pass: nor can ye frustrate it (in the least bit).”

)S6: A134

VI. Food for Thought

“A smile is the shortest distance between two people.”

)Victor Borge